Is Online Training Sufficient For New Home Inspector?

Most of the home inspection certification bodies have recognized that a combination of formal training and hands-on experience would produce the best field performance for all the home inspectors. Although there are many online home inspector training programs in the market, people have doubts on that. They are worried that they don’t have enough exposure through online education. Their main concern is whether they can really evaluate the properties in a professional manner and they won’t be sued by clients for errors and omissions.

Online training provides us with flexible study time at any venue. We can learn all the necessary knowledge through an online school. In order to sharpen your technical skills, you are advised to take your own initiative to obtain new knowledge continuously through educational conferences and seminars in the industry. Attending these events is important in updating yourself with all the latest construction practices and legislation.

In fact, all of us know that practice makes perfect. Study online will only provide us with academic qualification and certification. However, in order to gain real experience, you are advised to get professional mentoring by learning from a certified and experienced home inspector. While you are taking lessons online, you should look for a part time job in any home inspection company. Join the company as an intern or a trainee so that you can have a clearer understanding about what inspectors do. Go along with them to different houses and buildings to observe how they execute their jobs.

To sum up, as a newcomer in this industry, bear in mind that you must always make yourself competent. You still need to accumulate as much experience as you can no matter you are pursing online or offline training.

Secrets in Questions to Ask Home Inspector

Home inspection is needed to avoid unpleasant surprises when purchasing a property. An existing or newly constructed home is subject for inspection to make sure the sale is clean. It provides a statement that the house has no damages. This is also a good way in helping agents for the appraisal check of the property. First time individuals seeking for this kind of service usually prepare questions to ask home inspector.

A good way to start a query is by asking the qualifications. Home inspectors take part on some known national associations like ASHI and NAHI. Though the state has its own guidelines of practice, the different associations comply on the regulatory body of the profession. Real estate professionals know the importance of home inspection by competent, licensed inspectors. If a certified or professional home inspector is needed in California, Arizona or Fl., ASHI is the place to find the right home inspection companies in any state where the service is needed.

Finding the right one is easy. A property agent may recommend one. Family and friends can also give referrals. Yellow pages and online search can be of help too. But, the important in reality is to be able to check the expertise of the hired home inspector. Three to five choices can be the best way of finding the most appropriate home inspector.

The common question of the buyer to a home inspector is what the inclusion of the inspection will be. In standard practice, the assessment covers the condition of the home’s foundation and structural system, ventilation system, electrical system, plumbing system, checking the roofs, attic, ceilings, floors, walls, windows and doors. Then, a buyer may ask for a list of the things the inspector will do. Honest and direct to the point queries are more advisable to be able to have an idea on the flow of the inspection. Most of the time, good property inspectors discuss the findings while doing the process. This happens when the buyer is accompanying the home inspector.

Before the actual inspection, the buyer may ask the home inspector the kind of report the buyer should expect. There is no standard form, the kind of report depends on the home inspection company. Each entity has its own guidelines when it comes to formats. A report could be a handwritten checklist or computer generated report or report with or without pictures. Thus, the client should exert an effort to ask about this. For the usage of the report, it is use as a guide of the contractor for the repairs and improvements. The report can also be used for budgeting in terms of prioritizing what needs to be repaired first. On the part of the seller, the report is used for the appraisal of the house and the right evaluation is produced if the whole process of inspection is completed. To avoid any unexpected outlay of cost after acquiring a property, it is best to secure a complete assessment of the property. Questions to ask home inspector must be prepared. This is one of the most important task in conducting a due diligence in searching for the right house inspector.

So You Want to Be a Home Inspector?

What I am about to tell you may get me in hot water with all those self help experts and schools that promote home inspection courses and basically anyone who makes money off of new home inspector’s. That’s OK I can take the heat.

First let’s take care of the myth that a home inspector can make $20,000 to $30,000 a year part time and $60,000 to $80,000 full time. This myth is perpetuated by educators and self help experts. The reality is that you do not make any where near that type of money in the first year, maybe the second year but for most it’ll be the third year. Many new inspectors are not aware of this reality and become disillusioned and do one of two things either quit or slash their inspection fees hoping to gain more business. The latter is not a good idea because it will hurt your fellow inspectors and more than likely you’ll quit finding that the lower fees won’t pay the bills.

Another reality that you are not informed about is cost. It can cost you a pretty penny from thermal cameras, high tech equipment to educational courses. These could cost you between $10,000 and $15,000 and that doesn’t even include vehicles, licenses, errors and omission and general liability insurance, association fees etc… Are you scared yet? you should be.

You need to walk into this with your eyes open and you’ll be OK. Oh, and by the way you will need a second income to survive. Don’t get me wrong, this is a great industry to get involved in and the rewards can be great in the long term and the key words are long term. You need to develop a game plan and stick to it through thick and thin and it should involve a lot of marketing, website development and personal study. Below are some quick pointers to guide you along the right path.

Before you start anything do your research and the first place to hit is the industries message boards. Here you will feel the pulse of the industry from new and seasoned inspectors. Go to local chapter meetings. When you have completed that first step and feel you still want to become an inspector research your local community and see if it can support another inspector at this time. In the big urban areas this is not as much a factor as it is in rural areas.

If you are still interested then it is time to research your education. Research your home inspector schools, not all are created equal. Pick the best one that fits your budget. If you have a trades background you’ll have a leg up, but remember building, repairs and installation are different animals than inspecting. If you do not have a trades background it’s time to hit the books and read on everything about the systems of a home.

You should also join a national association, the three biggies in the U.S. are the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, American Society of Home Inspectors and National Association Of Home Inspectors. In Canada you have the Canadian National Association of Certified Home Inspectors and Canadian Association of Property and Home Inspectors. For dollar value I think InterNACHI is the best with the amount of free education and member benefits they offer inspectors. Many states and provinces have their regional associations as well, think about joining them they represent you at a local level.

Now that you are on your way to becoming a home inspector, another item that should be in your arsenal is your reporting software. The most popular are Home Inspector Pro, Home Gauge and 3D. I personally use HIP because of it’s ease of use. The other inspecting programs are just as good. You need to research which one will suit your needs. They all offer free trial downloads so that you can experiment with them. Remember, you definitely need software, checklists are so 80’s and 90’s that they scream newbie. Also get a website that matches your software. In this day and age of online shopping you are basically dead without one.

I have given you some reality checks and some pointers even though I did not touch on many things that will effect you, that is part of your research assignment about entering the property inspection field. Remember my warning, this isn’t a get rich quick scheme, instead it is a lot of hard work and long hours. If anyone tells you differently they are doing you a disservice. So take off those rose colored glasses, get down to some hard work and a lot of studying, some heart breaking moments which will eventually be followed by elation and join me in this wonderful world of home inspections.